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Research Programs

Center for Neurovirology

The Center for Neurovirology (CNV), with its highly focused research programs in CNS-virus interaction, fosters collaboration among more than thirteen basic science and clinical departments and centers to develop and conduct comprehensive and multidisciplinary basic to clinic research programs.

Through collaborative efforts with members of the Departments of Neurology and Radiology, a novel approach that includes the use of nanoparticles in imaging is under development for CNS disorders. This program has received funding from NIH. With members of the Department of Pharmacology and the Center for Substance Abuse Research (CSAR), a successful NIH-funded program project was developed based on the primate/SIV model generated by the CNV to assess cooperativity between morphine and HIV-1 in the pathogenesis of AIDS.

Through additional collaboration with the several basic science and clinical departments, the CNV has also developed a comprehensive NeuroAIDS center (CNAC) grant application that recently received $8.34 million from NIMH. Further collaboration of the CNV with Infectious Diseases has led to funding of a grant application on basic and clinical AIDS. The funded program project focusing on signaling pathways in the CNS and neurodegeneration was developed through collaboration with faculty members from the Department of Biology. With our international affiliates, the CNV received an NIH-funded program to study the mechanisms of apoptosis in viral induced CNS disease.

The center has been extremely successful in securing several large grants, center grants, training grants, and equipment grants. The center plans to focus more effort into training and initiating collaboration with clinicians in a variety of areas including neuroAIDS, brain tumors, multiple sclerosis and other viral induced CNS diseases. The synergistic collaboration between CNV and other groups of scientists in the areas of CNS infection, including those from the Department of Neuroscience, will continue to create a vibrant research and educational environment focused on viral induced neurological disorders.

Comprehensive NeuroAIDS Center (CNAC)

The Comprehensive NeuroAIDS Center’s mission is to improve and extend public health impact of bench-to-clinic research associated with HIV-induced neurological diseases and cognitive disorders. Neurological complications and cognitive disorders are among the most devastating clinical manifestations of HIV-1 infection in AIDS patients today – including patients receiving treatment with antiretroviral therapy. In the Philadelphia area, the rate of HIV-1 infection is five times the national average, with more than 19,000 individuals currently infected with the virus. Temple University Hospital’s Comprehensive HIV Program treats more than 10 percent of AIDS patients in Philadelphia, and 10 percent of its inpatient neurology discharges are HIV-1 positive individuals with neurological disorders. CNAC’s goal is to improve and extend the public health benefits of bench-to-clinic research related to NeuroAIDS in the Philadelphia region and beyond. To this end, we bring together a large group of AIDS and neuroscience investigators based at Temple and other leading academic medical centers. We offer expert research services and technologies, an established clinical HIV program including neuropsychiatric and neurocognitive assessment, mentorship/training programs, and seed funding for new translational research projects addressing NeuroAIDS and HIV-1 associated neurocognitive and behavioral disorders.